Og­wu­mike out as Sparks fall to Storm

Los Angeles Times - - THE DAY IN SPORTS - Wire re­ports

The Seat­tle Storm pounded a short-handed Sparks team, 86-61, on Satur­day night at Seat­tle in the sea­son opener for both teams.

The Sparks were with­out three of their top four scor­ers from a year ago, in­clud­ing lead­ing scorer Can­dace Parker, Kristi To­liver and Nneka Og­wu­mike. The ab­sences of Parker and To­liver were an­tic­i­pated, but the Seat­tle Times re­ported that 6foot-2 for­ward Og­wu­mike was out be­cause a sprained left an­kle. The losses of Parker and Og­wu­mike were par­tic­u­larly ap­par­ent on the Sparks’ front line as Seat­tle outscored L.A., 34-16, in the paint.

The Sparks shot 34.3% from the field, in­clud­ing four for 22 on three-point at­tempts while the Storm shot 51.6% over­all, in­clud­ing nine for 20 on three­p­oint at­tempts.

Alana Beard led the Sparks with 20 points. Erin Phillips had11, and Jan­tel Laven­der 10.

Re­nee Mont­gomery scored 19 points and Crys­tal Langhorne had18 to lift the Storm.

Jenny Boucek won in her coach­ing de­but for the Storm. She took over in Jan­uary af­ter Brian Agler left to coach the Sparks.

Seat­tle also opened the sea­son with a vic­tory for the first time since 2010 and beat the Sparks for the first time in their last six meet­ings.

Sue Bird and Alysha Clark each scored 11 points.

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